Knowledge and attitude of postnatal mothers towards neonatal care in a rural area of Maharashtra, India


  • Shilpa Chaudhari Professor in Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Smt. Kashibai Navle Medical College and General Hospital, Pune, India,
  • Smritee Virmani Assistant professor in Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Smt. Kashibai Navle Medical College and General Hospital, Pune, India



Rearing practices, Postnatal mother, Neonatal period


Background: The neonatal period encompassing the first 28 days of extra uterine life is the most crucial time in baby’s life. It is an important link in the chain of events from conception to childhood. The mother’s or caregivers` past experiences and knowledge play an important role in safeguarding the new-born’s health and enhancing adaptation to the new environment.

Methods: A community based cross sectional study was carried out in the rural area of Pune district for 2 months period. Thirty postnatal mothers within 28 days of delivery were given semi-structured questionnaire to assess neonatal rearing practices amongst them.

Results: Seventeen percent mothers initiated breast feeding within one hour of delivery, 15% after two days while 33% did not give colostrum to the baby. Thirty seven percent women gave no prelacteal feeds. Eighty seven percent gave zero polio doses to their baby. Sixty three percent bathed the baby by day two while 11% bathed as late as after 30 days. Ninety seven percent gave sesame seed oil massage to the baby.

Conclusions: Most mothers had good practices even though the beliefs were different. Awareness of the need to initiate breast feeding within one hour and to continue it during baby’s illness and need for exclusive breast feeding for first six months is essential.


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Original Research Articles